Rebreaking a Bone
Before means chronology has logic;
means outpaced prior-faced enmity -
lacking of punch, drunkless. Dressed less.
My prologue, I harken. Has teeth
made of cartilage. No, bones. Side flesh.
What husband? What has been?
Who was bent to the role am I playing
and is this where I should stand on stage?
Omniscient I narrate now. Often harmed not
a future tense. An is, a rebreaking.
Never Blue Sky
He’s dead, was
a bad rind bad.
I boiled something
dried. I mean died.
I’m not sure
but cut it small. Break
pieces off an object through hitting that object.
Where are the questions
we must read
if information is true
The given answer: the trees with
ants had more leaves
fall than those without.
Rumor, Too, Is a Goddess Never Dead
Sing reality, when we in violet-dark
spring. My due season. I will name
main themes; a hymn to hum
for the deity among, a role
to play in myth-like favor.
Come down to us dear idea
of the past. We are many miles
from the sea and bent holding
up the broad sky. My sore heart
shies to win the fire prize
of ease. Instead I seek
a delicate bloom, a title,
revenge. The spirit in my breast,
a dry pith to fennel fire is more
than mankind can manage
at full might. At night, I am the monster
Described. Shed sweet of dew,
the sea in grip holds check.
I suggest a shore not for wrong.
Not for loss of an answer – a discarded theory.
It is too late in the day
to sweep aside, in earnest full measure
the packed down earth. I beg
your pardon to steal march,
and leave in peace to furrow the lost.
The Etymology of My Joining
A pack to parse, I wake up big n’ bleak
overwhelmed by faith-based landscape.
I have to work to better mute
my moves. What might be the draw
of grief? The conversation starts today.
I come to this with lost found. From
the darkest place I’m in, I spur a different
form of reverence, a scene of play often
narrow, a morning full of temporal ritual.
I wade the loss. Wager a small way in
which you are not here but everything
read becomes an elegy.
The Door Ajar Allows More Noise
The other woman knocks on my door,
collects my children’s shoes from my
the porch. Backpacks, detritus large
and small, inside out socks worn, d
discarded along the gravel paths.
She carries my youngest to her black car
where her father sits in wait.
My oldest, shoes half on, half off
scuffles streetside to the driver’s
side door and slides himself in.
Buckle up. I open the door to check
his belt and kiss his forehead,
chagrined. I look in his eyes
twice before they go.
The House at the Bridge
Says goodbye. Says the shining white light
at the edge of the other shore won the dark
gaze. Amen to dawn’s sad flight. Beyond
tithing, is distance and thus despair. I’ll stay on
this shore and dance with my necklace of dead
birds strung to me by their beaks. Touching
my body with their dead grief, dancing
against my chest as I light the tide
on fire under the stars.
Katy Chrisler is a poet and nonfiction writer based in Texas. Her work has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, The Volta, Tinhouse, and The Seattle Review among other publications. She has held residencies with the Vermont Studio Center, Land Arts of the American West and 100 West Corsicana.